Friday, December 19, 2014


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Johnson City police officer shot, killed with service weapon; suspect dies

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Johnson City police officer shot, killed with service weapon; suspect dies
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JOHNSON CITY, N.Y. -- David Smith, a long-time Johnson City police officer, was shot and killed with his service weapon Monday morning near UHS Wilson Medical Center shortly after starting his 6:45 a.m. shift.

Binghamton and Johnson City Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said James Clark, 43 of Greene, wrestled Smith's service gun away from him, shot him, and Smith fell to the ground. Clark then shot Smith again.

"Officer Smith was a good police officer for the Village of Johnson City for 18 1/2 years," Zikuski said. "He is going to be deeply missed by his family and his comrades."

Another responding officer confronted Clark shortly afterward, and shot him. Clark later died of his injuries at UHS Wilson at 10:22 a.m.

Authorities from the New York State Police and other agencies are at Clark's home at 132 Turner Street in Greene as of 2 p.m. Monday.

Smith responded to UHS Wilson after reports that Clark was making threats outside of the hospital, Zikuski said.

Zikuski said at this point, authorities do not know a motive for Clark's actions.

Clark worked as an MRI technician at Southern Tier Imaging.

According to hospital officials, all patients and staff are safe. As a result of the ongoing investigation, portions of the hospital will remain closed for the rest of the day. In addition, Harrison Street and Hudson Street near the hospital are also expected to be closed for the rest of the day.

Timeline of Events

7:03 a.m.: Police receive call for disturbance at 32 Harrison St., near UHS Wilson Medical Center.

7:06 a.m.: Call goes out for shots fired.

Shortly after, police determined Clark came out of Southern Tier waving his hands in the air, but was inaudible, according to witnesses.

Smith was preparing to exit his vehicle and open the car door and the suspect immediately attacked him and punched him several times as he was trying to exit the vehicle.

Witness said Clark reached into Smith's car and struggled to get Smith's service weapon out of the holster.

As the struggle continued Smith was able to get out of the car, but the suspect gained control of the gun and he shot Smith.

Once Smith was down the suspect then shot him another time.

When another responding officer coming to Smith's aid, Clark saw him turned around and fired upon him. Police say the Johnson City Officer fired upon Clark and shot him. Clark died at UHS Wilson at 10:22 a.m.

Source: Police Chief Joseph Zikuski

Autopsies are being performed Monday and toxicology will take a couple weeks to come back.

There will be another press conference once funeral arraignments are made.

Zikuski says the police department is helping the family through this difficult time offering support.

Statement from Southern Tier Imaging

The physicians and staff of Southern Tier Imaging are shocked and saddened by the tragic events that took place this morning. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this senseless act and we would like to express our heartfelt condolences to Officer David Smith and his family. We have been cooperating with the Village of Johnson City Police Department and will continue to work closely with them and all others involved in the ongoing investigation of this incident.

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